Novak Djokovic may just have won his fifth Miami Masters title with a three set victory over Andy Murray, a result which consolidated his reputation as the unbeatable man at the moment, but a lot of the post-final talk has been of his apparent moment of aggression towards a ball-boy.
Losing a set is not something that the Serbian star usually has to deal with when he’s out on-court, but Murray ensured that their final would need to run into a decider after he broke Djokovic’s serve at 5-4.
Understandably, it has to be said, frustration at losing the set, mixed with the agitation of a sweltering hot day on the east coast, made him explode with a grunt of anger towards to his team.
Article continues below
It just so happened that a ball-boy crossed his path at the very moment that his frustration boiled over, the loud shout clearly made him jump – as it did most of the crowd – but probably did his ear drums no favour either. It was by no means directed at him though.
A simple mistake was made in the literal boiling heat of the moment, and it certainly shouldn’t be something that Djokovic should have felt the need to apologise for; those that were offended by this incident should really revaluate what matters to them.
Article continues below
If the 27-year-old hadn’t have taken to social media to record his apology, then the issue probably wouldn’t have needed to become newsworthy. His punishment was served on-court by the umpire who issued a violation – that should have been the end of the story, case closed…
As it is now, a lot of the newspapers column inches have been taken up by this story, rather than the truly remarkable form of the world no.1, who has now enjoyed a total of 141 on top of the world – the same amount of time as his great rival Rafael Nadal.
It is not as if Djokovic is some crazed hot-head with a history of ball-boy abuse; less than a year ago he had fans at the French Open in hysterics as he took the umbrella that a youngster was holding to shelter him and also invited the shocked lad to have a drink with him.
Any frustration that spilled over will only be a sign of how dedicated he is, how muchof a perfectionist he is – the exact qualities that have made him an eight-time Grand Slam champion, and will win him more Majors too. It’s certainly not something he should apologise for.
His opponent at 'the scene of a crime', Murray, probably wished he had Djokovic's ability to refocus through his burst of shouting - it never seems to work for the Scottish-born star. The ball-boy 'incident' turned to be a turning point in the match. Djokovic secured the title by 'bagelling' Murray in the final set.
The world No.1 will need all of that controlled aggression as he finally bids to end Nadal’s steel-grip of the French Open, the clay-court season is almost here; can Djokovic dethrone the ‘King of Clay’?